Setting Up a Solid Medical Malpractice Claim
People usually look up to doctors and nurses because of the reputation they cultivated of alleviating the pain and suffering of their patients. Doctors and nurses are guided by medical procedures developed by international experts and specialists. They are own competence develop through experience as they mature in their profession.
Alas, these medical practitioners are but human, imperfect and erring. Given the tremendous trust people give them, however, once something goes wrong in their execution of medical procedures and their patient suffers from it, it opens a controversial issue of medical malpractice.
Many people fall to the wrong impression that to sue a certain doctor with medical malpractice charges is quite easy. In fact, medical malpractice cases are extremely tough to win.
Not all medical injuries can be considered as medical malpractice, thus medical malpractice claims is not applicable for such cases.
Moreover, it also does not provide basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit claim. In proving malpractice or establishing the liability of a health care provider, expert medical malpractice testimony is needed. This testimony’s basic content is that the health care provider a person is suing has committed a grievous wrong no reasonable health care provider would do, and resulted to injury and death. Once liability is established, the victim or his/her family claims for medical malpractice damages.
Another thing that makes this kind of claim a tough case is that there is a statute of limitations or statutory period in filing the lawsuit by a malpractice lawyer. Each state has its own established medical malpractice law for such cases.
The three main issues in determining if a case of medical malpractice is worth pursuing are liability, damages and responsible person to pay such damages. In determining if a health care provider is liable or legally responsible for the injuries sustained by the patient, negligence must be established.
To determine this, the accepted standard of care on a certain area must be known and whether or not the standard was followed. If it turned out that the standard of care was not followed, the next step is to determine if the cause of injury is because of such non-compliance to standards.
Meanwhile, in determining negligence, a health care provider may misdiagnose an illness or injury, fail to treat it properly, give the wrong medication and fail to give thorough explanation to a patient about the risk of a certain procedure or other alternative treatments to avail of. Furthermore, there must be concrete evidence that a doctor’s negligence was indeed the cause of injury or worsening of condition.
Once liability is established, the patient victim is entitled to claim for damages. This may be in the form of compensation for the medical bills already incurred and still to be paid, the loss of present and / or future income and the physical and psychological pain and suffering felt by the victim.
In a medical malpractice claim, the damages vary on each individual case. It usually depends on how the injury or death caused by malpractice affected the persons earning potential and quality of life.
There is also a statute of limitations or a deadline in filing a claim, which is typically two years. It is important to note this down since once a claim did not meet the statute of limitations, the claimant loses his or her right to damages, even if liability can be proven.
Before launching medical malpractice claims, make sure that there is a fighting chance in winning the case. These kinds of claims are usually settled less often compared to other cases. One also invest more time and expense.
This article was posted on July 18, 2007
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